Apr 19, 2016

Raising Boys ~ Why Boys are Different and How to Help them Become Happy and Well Balanced Men by by Steve Biddulph

Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different--and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced MenRaising Boys: Why Boys Are Different--and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men by Steve Biddulph

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Since becoming a parent of a boy, I read almost everything I can get my hands on to try to gain additional information and suggestions about things that might make his life better. I am one of those people who believe that you can learn from others, and other's good suggestions can come in handy. No one person can know anything of course so it is always good to at least consider things others have tried or have heard about. I appreciate that this book was not faith based because sometimes those books can be a little lacking in scientific facts and practical advice. I also appreciate books that can back up their opinions with research of some kind or even just the fact ... " this worked for me " or " this worked for my friend"... I am actually open to reasonable suggestions and can find value in many different approaches.

As a woman, I did find a little offensive some of the big, huge, constant suggestionS that the boy will not have a good life it he does not have a strong male taking him under his wing. I know boys do need a male influence, but I also know men who were raised by mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc. who are wonderful and understanding men. YES they are still MEN. I am sure most of them might agree it would have been a benefit if a good male had been there, but sometimes the fact that the influence is a male does not mean the influence is a good influence on the child. Don't settle for a bad male just to have a male in the boy's life. That is sexist and is not going to lead the boy in the right direction in my opinion.

There was alot of information in this book that I did find helpful. Much of the information wasn't backed up with science or research, but then again much of the research you see can be manipulated to show whatever results researchers want it to show .... so again... common sense and suggestions based on what you have seen or heard can have merit.

This book had some good and some not so useful in my opinion. It was very readable and easy to understand. Overall I do not have a negative opinion of the book. Most books have some useful suggestions, and some will not be for everyone nor will it apply to every single situation.

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review and I am glad I read it. I can see and agree that if the child has a strong bond with a good father figure it will benefit the boy. I can see and understand that sometimes boys need to be boys (within reason & not having to always BE TOUGH, nor bully others)... Boys also need to know when to tone it down and show some respect to others. The author had some good points in places, but a person needs to consider their own particular child and circumstances when considering the information.

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BOOK Description
A revised edition of the bestselling and practical guide to the issues parents face in raising sons--including sex, violence, homework, sports, the Internet, and more--and how to best aid boys' development from birth to manhood.

Raising a happy, loving, responsible boy in today's world can be challenging. In this third edition of his international best seller, Steve Biddulph looks at the most important issues in a boy's development from birth to manhood. With gentle humor and proven wisdom backed by decades as a family psychologist and father, he shows parents how to provide the firm, loving guidance that boys need. Updates include information on mitigating the dangerous effects of online pornography, male specific hearing problems, and teen driving on boys. Biddulph also discusses:
• The three stages of boyhood, and how to help them go smoothly.
• Testosterone! How it changes behavior and what to do about it.
• How boys' brain development differs from girls'.
• How to help boys cultivate a caring attitude toward sex.
• The impact of competitive sports on boys, and how to ensure it stays positive.
• Questions to assist in finding boy-friendly schools

The War of Words by Amy Neftzger ~ Review, author interview, giveaway,

The War of Words
by Amy Neftzger

Book Review, Author Interview, Giveaway !!!!

Giveaway details below

Win 1 of 5 print copies (USA) / 1 of 5 ebooks (international)
1 of 2 $25 Amazon gift cards (international) (12 winners)
12 prizes in all!

Book Description for The War of Words:

Sometimes there's no better way to understand reality than through fantasy, and the best way to find truth may be in a book - if you can find the right one.

Battles against darkness, a quest for truth, and a search for the book that no one can read are all part of the fantasy adventure in The War of Words. As an evil sorcerer wages war by using mysterious shadows and seeks to gain control by confusing the residents as to what's real and what isn't, the fate of the kingdom rests in the hands of Kelsey and Nicholas.

As the youngest officer in the king's army, Kelsey fights the evil sorcerer s shadows on the battlefield as she explores the kingdom searching for the key to winning the war. Nicholas, a young sorcerer in training who is mastering his craft, discovers how the right words can change the course of the future.

Explore an enchanted maze, uncover the power of words, and learn about friendship in this whimsical tale.

​Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Book Depository


The War of Words by Amy Neftzger was a hilarious, fun, and very thought provoking read. I would suggest this book to anyone from middle grades to adulthood. The fantasy story demonsrated, through words (understanding & misunderstanding) how perception can destroy or create ... using words and the understanding (common understanding) can make or break a relationship or even a kingdom / war / world. 

I am often not a big fan of fantasy with sorcerers, kings, and alot of imagnary characters, but I completely loved the characters in the book. Kelsey is a soldier fighting in the king's army against an evil sorcerer's shadows. When I first started reading I though, "Oh this is going to be just too unreal", but I was wrong. The book quickly picked up adding different characters with various talents and strategies and eventually gets to a hilarious gargoyle and a good sorcerer. Their witty back & forth will had me just about rolling in laughter. 

Most importantly is the way the story progresses taking the reader along through the understanding of words and how important words are. How words are used, misused, understood and misunderstood is shown, not just talked about. As the story progresses with misunderstandings and consequences, the reader can see for themselves how our words not only affect the present, but also the future. Perception, how we perceive what someone is saying, can also cause happiness or damage so sometimes quick reactions to misunderstood words can cause wars, destruction, hurt, etc. 

I am very thankful to have received this book free for review purposes because it is not the kind of book (fantasy) that I would have sought out to buy. I will share this book with my 10 year old and also suggest anyone of any age read it because of the truth and knowledge that is clearly presented here in a fun way without being preachy or "education talk". GREAT READ !!

Author's Bio:

Amy Neftzger is the author of fiction books for both adults and children. She has also been published in business and academic journals, as well as literary publications.

A few of her favorite things include traveling, books, movies, art, the Oxford comma, and gargoyles.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook

Interview with Amy Neftzger
What is the last great book you've read?
I recently received a copy of Mark Haddon's The Pier Falls and Other Stories. It was a collection of literary short stories and very well written. His style is a bit experimental, but he constructs the plots very well and I enjoy reading books that are put together well.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what 3 books would you want with you?
I'd want books that have a lot to uncover, so I'd definitely want something like Infinite Jest. That's a long book with a lot of symbolism and plenty to keep my mind busy. I think I'd also like a dictionary because I'd want to read words to remember them (assuming that I'm stuck alone). Then, I'd want something like Harry Potter because it's a very optimistic book and I think I'd need something like to keep me going.

How did you do research for your book?
This book was a little different from some of the others I've written. I got the idea from watching political debates and seeing how the candidates twist words around, so a lot of my research was watching human behavior in these settings. For example, reading stories about political candidates or watching documentaries about debates. That's the beauty of fantasy: it helps us to understand truths that we see in everyday life.

How do you find time to write when you have children?
I think it's different to find time for just about anything in today's world. I specifically carve out time every day, and even if it means that I'm writing in the car while my son is at a lesson, I find a time to write. It might not be the ideal location, but I always make it a priority. I have to confess that my husband helps out around the house, and that makes a big difference to a woman in any career.

What is your favorite dessert?

Anything with chocolate. I also love ice cream, so if you can put the two together it's perfect. Well, I do love a good cake, especially with homemade icing. And cheesecake. Or a nice fruit cobbler. Maybe the correct answer is "all of them?"


Feb 4, 2016

Review: The Six by Mark Alpert

The SixThe Six by Mark Alpert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book description:

To save humanity, they must give up their own.

Adam's muscular dystrophy has stolen his mobility, his friends, and in a few short years, it will take his life. Virtual reality games are Adam's only escape from his wheelchair. In his alternate world, he can defeat anyone. Running, jumping, scoring touchdowns: Adam is always the hero.

Then an artificial intelligence program, Sigma, hacks into Adam's game. Created by Adam's computer-genius father, Sigma has gone rogue, threatening Adam's life-and world domination. Their one chance to stop Sigma is using technology Adam's dad developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son.

Along with a select group of other terminally ill teens, Adam becomes one of the Six who have forfeited their bodies to inhabit weaponized robots. But with time running short, the Six must learn to manipulate their new mechanical forms and work together to train for epic combat...before Sigma destroys humanity.

Book review:

I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but I enjoy a good sci-fi book once in a while. The characters sucked me, along with the battles they and their families are going through with the decision to have their dying / failing bodies replaced with a machine. The teen characters are dealing with whether the "real" person, soul, etc. is still alive in the robotic body with just their mind loaded onto the machine, or did the "real" person die with the body's last death. The teens, after batting years of disabilities, are now having to adjust to a computerized body with their mind loaded into it. Some are thrilled while others are having a harder time adjusting. Of course a villain must come into the book during their personal struggles and training ....

I read this book a while back after it was given to me for review. My 10 year old son and I were in a library a few days ago and I pointed it out to hbim. He read a few pages and loved the story as well. I think he is a little more intrigued with the idea of robotic bodies and the possibilities of science in the future.

Great book, and apparently action packed and interesting enough for a 5th grader too. We are both awaiting a book 2.

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COVER REVEAL for Single by Collette West

Single by Collette West
Contemporary Romance

Underdog Luke "Single" Singleton is yearning to make a comeback. After getting hit in the neck with a pitch—an injury that nearly cost him his life—he has one last chance to play for his hometown team, the Stockton Beavers. But his mom has Alzheimer's, and he's all she has to depend on. How can he pursue his career, much less someone special?

Personal care aide Roberta Bennett is done dating baseball players. Having had her share of heartbreak, she heads to Stockton hoping for a fresh start. But after she finds Luke’s mom outside, lost, and alone, she can’t refuse when he hires her on the spot. Unbeknownst to Luke, Roberta is all too familiar with the violent tendencies of the pitcher who hit him.

Now that they’re living under the same roof, the last thing either of them is looking for is a relationship. But it’s not long before they find themselves drawn to each other. And right when Luke is thinking about finally making a change to his single status, a secret from Roberta's past emerges with the power to tear them apart.




I try not to stare, but from behind, I can't help but admire how her tiny waist comes in over her hips. Her body's supple, strong. There's nothing delicate about her. The corner of my mouth turns up. She could probably kick my ass, and I don't know why, but I like that.

She tosses me an annoyed glance over her shoulder. "Quit it."


"Haven't you ogled my butt enough for one day?"

My cheeks burn again. So she did catch me checking her out on the field. Crap.

She lifts my arm and bends it at the elbow. It would have to be the arm, the one I couldn't move after David Nichols hit me in the neck with the ball. At first, the docs didn't know if I was partially paralyzed or not. Let's just say it was a scary four and a half days before I finally detected any sign of feeling in it.

I gaze up at her. But does she know that?


About the Author

Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball's biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette's impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she's not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at collette_west@yahoo.com.

She is the author of NIGHT GAMES, GAME CHANGER and GAME ON.

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Jan 7, 2016

REVIEW Stitch Head # 6 ~ The Monster Hunter By Guy Bass

The Monster Hunter (Stitch Head, #6)The Monster Hunter by Guy Bass

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My favorite little hero is at it again. Protecting his mad professor (creator) & his castle full of the professor's creatures that Stitch Head used his lotion to make kind. This is the 3rd Stitch Head book that I have read and I love all of them.

As in the other books, the story is packed with humor and action, as well as some bad guy trying to ruin the happy, strange home Stitch Head has maintained for himself and the other creatures ~ monsters turned good. As usual, someone is trying to move in on his family ~ friends and it is up to Stitch Head and his one human friend to save the castle and it's inhabitants.

Full of fun, excitement, creativity, kindness, and lots of fun. Completely love the illustrations and fun, quirky personalities of the characters. I was provided this book free of charge in order to provide an honest review.

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Dec 14, 2015

The Suspects Daughter by Donna Hatch

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Release-Day Grand Finale for
The Suspect's Daughter
By Donna Hatch

We're celebrating the release of The Suspect's Daughter! We hope you enjoyed finding out more about Grant Amesbury, the reclusive Bow Street Runner who has finally met his match, and the Regency era this story is set in. If you missed any of the stops, you can check them out now... 

Launch - Intro to the Book

In this new novel, Grant has met his match. Not only is Jocelyn his perfect opposite--light to his darkness--but she matches him in wit and courage. But Jocelyn has her own problems, and a troublesome man does not fit into her plans.

Bookworm Lisa - About the Book & 5 Fun Facts

The Rogue Hearts Series centers around a noble family with the surname Amesbury, children of Lord Tarrington. Each book is a stand-alone story about each member of the family.

1. The murder plot in The Suspect’s Daughter was based on true events known as The Cato
Street Conspiracy.

"This book was romantic and had a bit of intrigue. I was happy to see glimpses of the Amesbury brothers throughout, still happy and well. Now Grant's story has been told and I can't wait to see where we go next with Donna Hatch. Wherever it is, I will be there. I loved this book. It took me to my happy place!"

I Am A Reader - Why Regency Gentleman Make the Perfect Heroes

Men in many historical eras were civilized and treated women with courtesy by standing up when a lady entered the room, doffed their hats, curtailed their language, offered an arm, bowed, and did a hundred other little things I wish men still did today. 

"I love a good, clean romance, but when there's depth--more "meat" to the story--, I'm in heaven and this book delivers. The reader not only gets a really great, believable romance, but a fantastic story line, full of conspiracy, mystery, and suspense."

"Regency" is the era in England when the Prince of Wales was Regent, or the ruler, in place of his father, King George III who was declared legal unfit to rule due to madness. Because George (later George IV) was the Prince Regent, the period is called the Regency. The true usually when I tell people I write Regency, I get one of two reactions. They either say, “I love Regency” or they say “what is Regency?” I guess to know it is to love it.

"The Suspect’s Daughter has it all – romance, suspense, great characters, skilled writing, and some quite spectacular kisses. I thoroughly enjoyed each aspect of this novel and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to fans of historical fiction, particularly the Regency era."

Christy's Cozy Corners - British Titles

Here is a basic rundown on titles. The titles of duke and marquess are usually territorial, meaning they are associated with a specific area of land, such as Duke of York, Marquess of Salisbury, etc. Though the titles of earl, viscount, and baron are most often associated with a territory, they can also be based on a family name, eg Earl of Tarrington. Some titles were bestowed without land so the title is attached to the family rather than to the land that family governs, so to speak.

underneath the covers - Writing Great Kissing Scenes

Great kissing scenes always include a great deal of sensory detail. I try to include as many of the five senses as possible, as well as internalization—what that person is thinking and feeling in his/her heart. I walk a fine line between sizzling chemistry and staying on the “sweeter” side of romance.

Colorimetry - Carriages

To accommodate the Regency gentry or nobility, the styles, paint design, and features of carriages were as varied as today’s automobiles. Image, status, and money, as well as personal taste, were all factors in choosing a carriage. Nobility had their family coat of arms painted on the side of their family coach. A reader may come across a number of different names for carriages, and unless one is willing to do some research, these names may mean nothing.

"From the first pages of this book, I was completely sucked in. I fell in love with Grant and Jocelyn and the type of characters they portrayed. I would recommend this book to anyone."

Wishful Endings - Bow Street Runners

Into this ineffective chaos stepped the Fielding brothers. Henry Fielding was a magistrate who operated his office on Bow Street. In 1750, he and his brother hand picked and organized an elite fighting force of highly trained and disciplined young men known as the Bow Street Runners. Later nick-named the “Robins Redbreasts” for their distinctive red waistcoats, they conducted investigations, including a rudimentary forensics and interrogations. They even carried handcuffs.

"We know Grant helps out with Bow Street Runners, so it was fun to see him in his element trying to solve a mystery. I also liked to see that he had high standards and always tried to do the right thing and help others. Jocelyn and Grant were great together, their relationship built at a believable pace and had plenty of swoony moments."

Singing Librarian Books - ​The Cato Street Conspiracy

​The murder plot in The Suspect’s Daughter was inspired by a true event in England known as the Cato Street Conspiracy.

The early 1800’s in England was a time of social and economic upheaval. Upon the ending of the long-term Napoleonic wars, unemployed career soldiers and sailors flooded the workforce. Industrial change was taking England from a largely agricultural country to one of large industry. Many of the working class were hungry and feeling oppressed. Riots erupted which the government crushed. Laws grew more and more restrictive.

The Suspect's Daughter: Regency Romance (Rogue Hearts Book 4)The Suspect's Daughter
(Rogue Hearts, #4)

by Donna Hatch

Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 298 pages

December 15th 2015 by Mirror Lake Press

Determined to help her father with his political career, Jocelyn sets aside dreams of love. When she meets the handsome and mysterious Grant Amesbury, her dreams of true love reawaken. But his secrets put her family in peril.

Grant goes undercover to capture conspirators avowed to murder the prime minister, but his only suspect is the father of a courageous lady who is growing increasingly hard to ignore. He can’t allow Jocelyn to distract him from the case, nor will he taint her with his war-darkened soul. She seems to see past the barriers surrounding his heart, which makes her all the more dangerous to his vow of remaining forever alone.

Jocelyn will do anything to clear her father’s name, even if that means working with Grant. Time is running out. The future of England hangs in the balance...and so does their love.

Donna Hatch 2014

Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty five years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

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Nov 11, 2015

Review ~ The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof by: Annie MG Schmidt

The Cat Who Came in Off the RoofThe Cat Who Came in Off the Roof by Annie M G Schmidt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


In the tradition of "The Cricket in Times Square" comes this charming tale of courage, friendship, and what it really means to be human. This classic, which originated in Holland and has withstood the test of time worldwide, will appeal to readers young and old and dog and cat lovers alike!

An act of kindness brings shy reporter Mr. Tibble into contact with the unusual Miss Minou. Tibble is close to losing his job because he only writes stories about cats. Fortunately, Minou provides him with real news. She gets the juicy inside information from her local feline friends, who are the eyes and ears of the neighborhood. Tibble is appreciative, but he wonders how she does it. He "has" noticed that Minou is terrified of dogs and can climb trees and rooftops with elegance and ease. . . . It s almost as if she s a cat herself. But how can that be? Praise for THE CAT WHO CAME IN OFF THE ROOF.


Apparently Annie M. G. Schmidt is a well known and very successful foreign writer who first put this story out to the public in 1970 and now again in 2015. Ms. Schmidt is also considered one of the greatest Dutch writers, is alao known as the mother of Dutch theatrical song, & the Queen of Dutch children’s literature. After her death she was honored posthumously in 2007 by being included in the Canon of Dutch History alongside such national Dutch icons as Vincent van Gogh and Anne Frank. Although Schmidt wrote poetry, songs, books, plays, musicals, radio and TV dramas, she was best known for her children’s stories. I did not know any of this when I was given a free copy of The Cat who came in Off the Roof by NetGalley for me to provide an honest review of.

I found hours of pleasure in reading this light hearted book about a very shy reporter and the lady / turned cat who comes into his home helping him to become more successful, and also help other local animals at the same time. The story is great for kids to show examples of caring and doing good thing for others and animals. The cats help the writer by providing facts for his stories that they obtain via the local cat info outlet. There are some great characters with a lot of humor incorporated into how the cats behaive and how their information system works. I am also proud to know the cats get justice while helping their writer friend find his own way to being a better writer. information system works, and luckily the cats get justice while helping their

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Nov 1, 2015

Review: Tales from the Graveyard the Complete Collection

Tales from the Graveyard: The Complete CollectionTales from the Graveyard: The Complete Collection by Susan Shultz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I requested this group of stories without realizing I had previously read The Blacksmith and throughly enjoyed it. The whole lot of stories reminded me of the old, eerie stories of love, sacrifice, cruelty, mean people who get what they deserve after attempting to break a good person.

Stories like the ones presented in this collection are what I like to call "Old Fashioned Scary Stories" with a lot of mental torture and anguish that will spook the reader to the core. I liked that the characters are throughly examined and their history is covered explaining the what and why of their murderous tendencies. All great stories to get the reader thinking about how thin the line is between crazy and justified.

I was given a copy of this book for the purpose of providing an honest review/ opinion.

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